KUCHING: The inaugural Spartan Race Sarawak held at the Leadership Institute of Sarawak Civil Service, Semenggok yesterday attracted almost 3,000 participants.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was impressed with the number of participants, considering the haze in the preceding month.
“The number of participants who registered for the event was beyond what we had expected and out of the total, about 65 per cent of them are from outside Sarawak.
“That’s good for our tourism as they come to stay in the hotels and it also benefited the food industry,” he told reporters after presenting prizes to the winners yesterday.
The event was held in Borneo for the first time.
“Normally when an event is held for the first time, many people will not be in the know what to expect and I must congratulate the organisers for having done good publicity for the event.
“This is a very, very successful event taking into consideration that we almost aborted it because of the haze. However, we decided to go ahead with it after the officer from the Malaysian Meteorological Department assured that everything would be alright,” he added.
The Asajaya assemblyman was also pleased that there was no incidence of injury among participants save for a few bruises.
“If we manage to organise it next year, we will try not to look for a month when people start burning the jungle,” he jested.
Karim also did not dismiss the possibility of organising the Spartan Race in other divisions but asserted that it had to be near to the town because of the accommodation and transport arrangements for the participants.
He said the State government would like to see races such as the Spartan Race to be held on an annual basis.
“Sarawak is known for its beautiful jungles, the hills and nature to showcase and adventure races would fit into Sarawak and that’s why we want to bring this kind race here and we try to bring it in again next year. If it can be done annually, we will be there to support it,” Karim assured.
Also present were MUSE group chief executive officer Riduwan Matni, organising chairman Carter Wei who is Kuching Fitness Association president and deputy president Gordon Chung.